Metallic Pea

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The Herald

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‘I’ve heard Presbyterian pastors dismiss Dabney as “angry and embittered.” Others have dismissed him as a racist and unworthy of consideration. I deem him a giant, and one of the greatest warriors the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ has ever produced in its history. Like Rushdoony, a genuine prophetic mantle rested upon Dabney’s noble, Southern shoulders. If you can read Dabney, and remain indifferent, you might want to check your conscience for the scars of searing.’ 


Robert Lewis Dabney


Written by ninepoundhammer

April 5, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Theology/ Doctrine

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  1. Dabney-admiring site

  2. Matt,
    At your recommendation I thought I would read a few Dabney’s essays. I read the one on using organs for worship and another on the Papacy.

    I found the paper on Organs to be quiet amusing considering that from our historical perspective organs symbolize tradition. A lot of his arguments could be directly applied to our current trends in praise music (a debate that our group of friends gets into regularly due to most of us liking hymns and going to a church that worships using modern praise music). Fundamentally I slightly disagreed with his definition of worship music which was overly concerned with being “intelligible and articulate”. While I don’t think it is bad to clearly state lyrics; the entirety of the song, from melody to rhythm to volume, can have meaning and can teach. I did think his arguments that the English language was meant for accentuation were very interesting.

    For the most part, I agreed with his criticism on Rome but found that his positions to far reactionary. Does Rome go overboard with image idolatry, sure. Does it necessarily follow that any remembrance of saints or images of them directly/indirectly lead into idolatry, I don’t think so. Protestantism started by trying to reform the catholic church and we should be looking forward to the day in which we can reunite. Making them into our arch rival who has no hope of redemption is not productive in my opinion.

    He made good arguments, didn’t misuse Scripture by twisting it to his defense (I’ve just seen this happen a lot lately), and provided a good understanding of church history. Fundamentally, he is far too rationalistic (verging on Gnostic) for me but so is Josh and we still get along.


    April 7, 2008 at 10:55 am

  3. Jacob:
    I appreciate that you took the time to read Dabney (oh, that others would follow suit!). I agree with your disagreement of his treatment of the use of organs in worship. Although Dabney is a giant in my eyes, I disagree with him on this issue and, alas, must often remind myself that he was not infallible in his dissertations. My picture of an ideal library would be to have a complete set of his writings on my shelf next to Calvin’s (and, of course, the Bible).

    I would urge you to continue to read everything by the Rev. Dabney that you can get your hands on. (His four-volume ‘Discussions’ is a gem–though hard to come by these days.) His ‘Systematic Theology’ is second to none, in my opinion. And his writings on secular topics such as politics, government, and public education were quite prescient and way ahead of thier time.


    April 7, 2008 at 11:08 am

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